By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After smothering William and Mary, 58-46, down in Williamsburg on Sunday, the Drexel women’s basketball team stands at 12-4 on the season. More importantly, they are now 5-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
One of the biggest reasons for the Dragon’s success is the high level play of senior forward Hollie Mershon.
A Malvern native, Mershon came to Drexel after a successful career at Archbishop Carroll High School, where she helped her team win three Philadelphia Catholic League Championships and the 2009 PIAA State Championship. She says she is driven by the desire to once again win a title.
“The four seniors here (including) me, we haven’t won a (conference) championship,” Mershon tells KYW Newsradio. “So that’s our prime focus, our main goal. Obviously, we take it one game at a time. So we know that this our last year, and we want to leave with that championship and postseason play in the NCAA Tournament.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s complete interview with Hollie Mershon:
A player that can truly “do it all,” Mershon leads the team in scoring (17.5 ppg), rebounding (7.1 a game) and assists (3.9 a game). She’s also one off the team lead in steals with 23.
“It’s so nice to watch her player development over the four years,” Drexel head coach Denise Dillon says. “Coming in as a freshman, just having the mentality of, ‘Hey, I have something to prove, I belong in this program, I belong on the floor and I’m going to do everything possible’. And then every year developing a different area of her game. When she’s out on the floor, it makes everyone else’s job that much easier, because the other team focuses so much on her. And she’s ready for that, she prepared for that. But she continues to move on the offensive end. She just gives you another look on defense. She can guard guards and she can fight with the post. She just does a little bit of everything and she’s fun to play with. She makes plays and she makes the players around her better. And that’s what you need in your leader.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s complete interview with Denise Dillon:
Mershon talks about where her game has grown the most since arriving on campus at Drexel back in 2009.
“I think definitely off the dribble, getting to the basket. I work on that every summer,” Mershon says. “I think also with my defense, it’s been a (work in) progress, moving my feet, defending some of the best players on the other team. So definitely those two areas.”
Mershon recently reached the 1,000 point plateau for her career and she continues to climb up the Drexel scoring list. Her 14 points on Sunday moved her into 14th place in Dragon history.
“It was a great feeling scoring my 1,000th point, I didn’t even know I was that close,” Mershon says. “And it’s definitely something, ten years from now I’m going to look back and say, ‘Wow, it’s pretty amazing that I did that.'”
The days in Mershon’s college career are ticking away, but Dillon doesn’t think that means her days on the court are over.
“I’d like to see her continue on and play professionally,” Dillon says. “I think she certainly can. She’s doing everything we need her to do right now, she wants the best for this team. But I think she even has a lot more basketball in her.”
Mershon and Drexel will return to action on Thursday when they visit Northeastern.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.